Music and me

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ musings on “white music” and “black music” got me thinking about my relationship to music in general.  I grew up in a largely white suburb in Virginia Beach (though, my next door neighbors on both sides were brown folks), and went to largely white elementary, middle and high schools.  Indeed, church was the only time during the week when I spent a significant amount of time around black people who weren’t related to me. Most of my close friends growing up – with a few exceptions – were white kids, and that reflects itself mostly in my music tastes.  For the longest time – up until senior year of high school, in fact – I only listened to punk rock/indie rock.  There was some hip-hop on my radar – old school stuff like the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and The D.O.C. – but you were more likely to find me listening to Death by Stereo or At the Drive-In then you were Ghostface Killah or Nas.  I’m not entirely sure how I really got into hip-hop, but you could probably place most of the “blame” on Anthony and Rahul, two cats I met first-year at U.Va.  

These days, I’m proud to say that my music tastes are pretty damn diverse my iTunes shuffle can go from Ice Cube to Belle & Sebastian to Buena Vista Social Club to Interpol (it’s happened before, and it’s weird).  Speaking of which, I’m listening to Interpol right now:

“Obstacle 1” from Turn on the Bright Lights




Jamelle Bouie is a writer for Slate. He has also written for The Daily Beast, The American Prospect and The Nation. His work centers on politics, race, and the intersection of the two.

You can find him on Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram as jbouie.
  • BlkBond

    Interpol is dope. I have a tshirt from that turn on the bright lights album, usually when I wear it white kids are looking at me weird as hell. Good Video btw…carry on.